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After Earth (2013)
Expected a dismal movie, but instead a triumphant movie...
This is why I personally don't listen to movie critics because as much as they are said to be experts on judging a film, they often are severely biased. And I believe this to be the case with After Earth.
Long story short. The plot is basically Will Smith (Cypher)who plays a commander and his son Jaden Smith (Kitai) are traveling through space aboard a vessel. Before they can reach their destination, an asteroid storm forms and steers their vessel out of control. They end up crash landing on planet Earth. But the catch is, this is Earth after the planet can no longer sustain human life and its inhabitants are monstrous creatures.
Aside from the fact that Will Smith is a big movie star, I like that he was able to mask that in this movie and took a back seat to allow his real life son to be the leading man. I'm not sure if that's what bugged some people, but that is a trivial thing. At the heart of this movie is a father teaching his son to conquer his fears. Any parent can relate to that. Any person can relate to that because life is a matter of overcoming fear, especially in uncertainty.
It's also a story of survival and trust. Courage and heroism. Every boy at one point in their lives' want to prove that their a man. I think Jaden Smith did a good job with portraying those feelings and he held his own in those intense scenes where it was life or death.
Last, but not least M. Night Shymalan has received so much negativity and people should give him a break. No, he might not be bringing out hit thrillers like the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, but which director in Hollywood has had a string of successes and has been able to keep that momentum for a given ten years or more? After Psycho, even Hitchcock didn't bring out another hugely successful film.
I digress, but all in all After Earth was an entertaining film. Not sure why it didn't perform well at the box office, but I have a feeling every once in a while critics get paid extra to slam a movie. Just a theory anyway...
The Hunger Games (2012)
A good movie, but I just wished they paid more attention to details...
I knew nothing about the Hunger Games book series up until this year. When I saw the previews to the movie, I assumed it was just another teen movie to drive me crazy will all the unnecessary hype. But I heard good things about the books from a couple of people and ended up reading it. Safe to say I enjoyed reading the first book and plan to read the rest in the series.
On the contrary I was not too caught up with the movie. I tired very quickly of the teen frenzy, which included the Twilight mania. Although I actually enjoyed the Twilight book series as well, but the movies are probably one of the worst film adaptations of any book series. Again I digress. I had the same fear with the Hunger Games. On a good note, I was pleasantly surprised and happy that this is definitely not another Twilight.
The Hunger Games was excellent in the visionary department. The scenery was excellent. The beautiful landscapes, District 12, the surrounding foliage and woods, and also the Capitol. I imagine you have to get the feel of the setting in the book. From the impoverished slums of the districts, to the plush and vibrant mood of the Capital. They did a splendid job on that.
The Games were done well too. I liked the technique of them showing the blood splatter of the tributes that were killed. I think this could have easily been a Rated-R movie because of how brutal the killings were in the book, but I liked that they made it more easier for kids and teens to watch. The camera angles and tricks were also cool and added great imagery.
I thought Jennifer Lawrence gave a convincing performance as Katniss Everdeen. One minor detail is that she didn't fit the physical description of Katniss (as also Gale) I just remember that some people made comments about some of the African Americans that were cast. (Rue, Thresh and Cinna.)I don't understand double standards. To defend the casting, I think Rue, Thresh, and Cinna where perfectly cast. I love Lenny Kravitz and who could resist the innocent face of Rue? The rest of the cast was surprisingly good as well. It was nice to see Donald Sutherland again.
Again I know the books are always better than the movie versions, but I just wished they paid more closer attention to details. The flashbacks were kinda confusing and would probably be even more confusing to someone who didn't read the book. They cut several scenes and rearranged it. The pacing was sometimes slow and sometimes it felt rushed, but these are minor details that don't ruin the movie.
I watched it four times already so far, so it is definitely worth more than one watch.
A great thriller with some good scary moments..
It is not everyday you see writers with the gift of storytelling. Not only being able to tell a story but also being able to translate it to the screen. I have to say that Intruders was an excellent movie because of that.
The amazing Clive Owen leads this film playing the father of a girl who is being visited by a nightly intruder called Hollowface. While a little boy and his mother in Spain is being haunted by the same visitor, but by the end you find out their is a connection between these two children and why they are being haunted by this imaginary being.
I love how this film took place in two different countries. I thought that was clever and I really enjoyed seeing what was happening from two different perspectives. I also think you have to be patient with the pacing of the story because it builds up.
I personally loved the concept. I'm fascinated with children's' imaginations. Nightmares are apart of childhood and every child has experienced scary dreams and monsters that lurk in the dark.
It had a Guillermo del Toro and a Stephen King theme to it. I'm happy to see another Spanish director bring out something scary. Also having that universal theme teaching every child to face their fears if they're afraid.
Great film. Would definitely watch again.
Mirror Mirror (2012)
An enjoyable family film so some people shouldn't be so uptight....
I saw Mirror Mirror in theaters back in April with my niece, but I just decided to write something on it because it has come under a lot of criticism and honestly I don't know why.I saw a lot of negativity on YouTube and many other places so it got me to thinking what really is the problem with movies geared more toward children?
I think fairy tales should bring out the little kid in everybody, but I've noticed that some people find it hard to revert back to their childhood or innocence because they think it's cheesy or corny.And with the recent comparisons between the two Snow Whites (Mirror vs.Snow White & the Huntsman) it has gotten more and more ridiculous.There has already been a dark-version of Snow White (Tale of Terror) if anyone remembers so there has been done already. A comedic version is interesting and new.
I can only comment on Mirror Mirror because I saw it and I enjoyed it. Snow White (Lily Collins) is treated horribly by her wicked stepmother The Queen (Julia Roberts) who is ruling the kingdom since her father's mysterious death. Somehow with the help of the dwarfs and the Prince (Armie Hammer), Snow White begins to believe in herself and realizes she has the strength to fight off the wicked Queen.
It was a really nice retelling of Snow White because it was a coming of age story. Never knew who Lily Collins was before this movie, but I think she was spot-on as Snow White. She has this innocent beauty that was perfect for Snow White, but she also was courageous, which is a great role model for young girls nowadays. Might I add, her eyebrows fit her and there is nothing wrong with them as I've seen nasty comments about it. They add distinction to her face.
The Prince was really comical and funny. Had me laughing a lot. Never knew who Armie Hammer was before this movie also. I liked him because it was the opposite from Disney Princes who usually are perfect in every way without flaws. They can sing, dance,and sword fight, but he was pretty dense in a way, but it actually suited the movie and it was intended to be that way.
Last but not least, Julia Roberts was divine as the wicked Queen. Honestly, I love her bitchy and sneering her nose at everyone. Julia is usually seen as this sweetheart but it was great to see this side of her. I liked her little on and off British accent too and her pompous narration to the story.
Love the dwarfs, they had absolutely the best one liners. They were modern and jazzed stuff up.
So again I add, every movie does not have to be sinister and Hannibal Lector evil for it to be considered a good movie. Nor does it have to have The Hangover- type jokes and vulgarity to be considered worthy of laughter.
The critics can go to hell on this one. I will watch this movie again and again, especially with my niece.